Judge Tells DoJ to Get Its Life Together Regarding Gitmo Case

Judge criticizes the Justice Department for trying to delay case while looking for actual evidence...

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From the Washington Independent:

The last time I wrote about the case of Guantanamo detainee Mohammed Jawad, the government had just conceded that its primary evidence — his “confessions” — were the product of torture and inadmissible in court. But the government still wasn’t letting Jawad go. Last night I received a copy of the transcript of last Wednesday’s status hearing in the case, in which U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle chastised the Justice Department’s lawyers for trying once again to delay the case while it scrambles to find some admissible evidence against Jawad.

Jawad, as I’ve explained before, was a teenager (possibly just 12-years-old) when he was arrested in Afghanistan by local police in 2002 and charged with throwing a grenade at a U.S. military vehicle. He “confessed” to Afghan authorities after they threatened to kill him and his entire family if he didn’t admit to the crime. A military commission judge ruled that his subsequent confession to U.S. authorities was also coerced, unreliable and inadmissible.

The transcript of last week’s hearing, where the government said it needed time to think about how to proceed with the case, reveals that now even the federal courts are losing patience with the Justice Department and its handling of Guantanamo habeas cases.

“I have now suppressed every statement attributable to the defendant as the government has failed to oppose,” said Huvelle, noting that that’s about 90 percent of Jawad’s statements. “So what is there to think about?”

The Justice Department lawyer, Kristina Wolfe, responded that the government lawyers are “consulting internally” on how to proceed.

Huvelle: “There are 11 statements attributed to Afghanistan officials and to the Americans. The Americans did not see anything and there may or may not be an Afghani who saw something. You can’t prevail here without a witness who saw it. I mean, let’s be frank. You can tell your superiors that. You can’t. There is no evidence otherwise.”

Read the rest of the article here

Um, we thought you fellas said waterboarding was a solid rendition technique?